BMWBLOG Test Drive: 2015 BMW 2 Series Convertible

The great city of Austin welcomed us for the test drive of the new and first BMW 2 Series Convertible BMW harkens back to its small car roots with a droptop version of its tossable 2 Series Coupe. Welcome to the new BMW 2 Series Convertible. My bigge...

The great city of Austin welcomed us for the test drive of the new and first BMW 2 Series Convertible BMW harkens back to its small car roots with a droptop version of its tossable 2 Series Coupe. Welcome to the new BMW 2 Series Convertible. My biggest question about the 2 Series Convertible, was whether BMW could add the drop op and not kill the dynamics of the seriously fun to drive 2 Series Coupe. To find out, BMWBLOG headed to Austin, Texas where BMW had it waiting for us along with an 2015 X6 M on the Circuit Of The Americas race track.

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Though BMW has a three piece metal hardtop convertible in the 4 Series and Z4, they have kept it lighter and simpler with a cloth top on the 2er. The top can be opened or closed at low speeds, less than 30 mph. BMW prepared for us to drive the 228i in Glacier Silver Metallic with the Sport Line and Coral Red Dakota Leather with black stitching. An M Sport suspension is included with the Sport Line and other options include a Cold Weather Package, Driver Assistant Package, Driver Assistance Plus, Premium Package, Technology Package, and last but not least Harman Kardon Premium Sound. The total bill comes to $50,225. Not exactly cheap for a midsize convertible. THE DESIGN

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The 2 Series Cabriolet has very broad shoulders compared to its coupe brother. Flowing lines on the hood start at the headlights and flow back up the hood. A horizontal crease line starts on the front fenders and work their way to the rear while rising to the back of the car. The taillights have the classic BMW L-shape.  

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The 2 Series Convertible has a double layered top that opens and closes with a center console lever. Interesting enough is the fact that it has a rear radio antenna in order to be able to pick up AM signals. Apparently AM radio is a big deal to the U.S. and Britain. If you are in Germany and try to find an AM station, you won’t. They don’t listen to AM radio there. THE ENGINE

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The 228i Convertible is powered by the N20 four-cylinder that is good for a peak 240 hp between 5000-6500 rpm. The real motivator though is the 228i’s max torque of 255 lb-ft of torque which is available way down low at 1450 rpm and carries this max figure all the way to 4800 rpm. The M235i Convertible is powered by the venerable N55 3.0 liter motor that is tuned to put out 320 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque. BMW is offering an eight-speed automatic standard in both the 228i and the M235i. A manual transmission is available but only on the M235i variant.

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The new 2 Series Convertible replaces the departed 1 Series Convertible. As with its 2 Series coupe brother introduced a year ago, the 2 Series Convertible grows by 3.5 inches in length and 1 inch in width. I really thought the outgoing 1 Series looked awesome as a coupe, but was too small and cramped for a convertible version. However, with the slight dimensional changes for the 2 Series convertible, looks just right. The new 2 Series Convertible has the right proportions and doesn’t looked cramped. Drop the top and the new cabriolet looks great with broad shoulders and a squat stance. The M sport version of the 228i and the M235i add a very aggressive front clip. THE DRIVING EXPERIENCE

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BMW laid out a route that took us through varying roads and terrain around Austin. We meandered through the city, on the interstate and a loop through the country side. The only truly exciting thing I experienced during the drive is when we were behind a massive truck carrying a dumpster. Stuff started flying out of it.

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Just as I started to pass on him on a two lane road a huge piece of plywood comes flying out. The 228i handled the situation well by deftly getting me into the passing lane and then had plenty of grunt to complete the pass. There is some mild body roll when you push the 228i hard but not bad. The ride over all is firm but not at all harsh.

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We drove with the top down for about three quarters of the route. The wind deflector when deployed along with the windows up decreases the wind buffeting a ton. We went from almost screaming at my co-driver to having a conversation at normal volume. The top needs just twenty seconds to open or close. It can also do it at speeds up to 30mph. We found this helpful when we were lowering the top and the stop light turned green. With the top up, the road noise is hardly noticeable. BMW did a great job at sound insulating the top.

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I only have two criticisms of the 2 Series Convertible. The first is that there is no manual transmission in the 228i, but doubt customers will actually miss it. Thankfully for those who prefer a three pedal car, the 335i Cabrio offers a manual as a no cost option. Second, I wish BMW would offer those wicked cool neck warming seats available in the 4 Series Convertible. They are definitely not a gimmick and a nice way to stay warm in colder weather. We also questioned Dr. Olaf Kluge, who is in charge of the 2 Series cabin electronics, about the lack of Head-Up display on the 2 Series. He told us that area in front of the instrument cluster was not big enough to install it.

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To add a droptop to the 2 Series, BMW added 330 lbs and $5,800 for the 228i versions, and $4,600 and 220 lbs for a M235i version. M Sport brakes are an option on the 228i and standard on the M235i. In the Sport line version of the 2 Convertible, BMW uses 18×7.5 front wearing 225/40/18, and 18×8 rear wearing 245/35/18 Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires.

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BMW managed to add the mechanics needed for a drop top, add body structure reinforcement and did so without affecting the tossable fun nature of the 2 Series Coupe. I suspect the 2 Series Convertible will be a very successful car for them.

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  The article BMWBLOG Test Drive: 2015 BMW 2 Series Convertible appeared first on BMW BLOG

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Can the Jaguar XE make a dent in 3 Series sales?

BMW’s 3 Series has long been the reigning champ in its segment. Deservedly so, as it is the best, even if it has gone a bit soft these past few years. There are other cars in the segment that give the 3er a run for its deutschmarks, like the Cadill...

BMW’s 3 Series has long been the reigning champ in its segment. Deservedly so, as it is the best, even if it has gone a bit soft these past few years. There are other cars in the segment that give the 3er a run for its deutschmarks, like the Cadillac ATS, Mercedes C-Class and Lexus IS, but none can match the 3’s all-around goodness. However, it seems as if Jaguar is primed and ready to take a good shot at the perennial segment winner. Jag has been looking to redeem itself from the tepidly awful X-Type and it seems as though that redemption will finally come to fruition.

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Meet the Jaguar XE. Motoring Journalists have been driving the XE, recently and have come away impressed with its looks, performance but most of all handling. It used to be that the 3 Series was the only car in the segment that could truly handle, but this XE seems like it will make the 3er a bit nervous. PHOTO COMPARISON: BMW 3 Series vs. Jaguar XE Built on an entirely new platform, the XE uses an extensive amount of aluminum in the chassis, suspension and body. While not exactly a featherweight, the XE S, with Jag’s usual 3.0 liter, Supercharged V6, tips the scales at 3,670 lbs. In comparison, a BMW 335i checks in at fewer than 3,600 lbs. Though it’s heavier than most of the cars in its class, it seems to hide its weight well, as all of the journos who drove it gave it rave remarks for its handling chops and steering feel. It’s odd when handling and steering are the two most talked about subjects when referring to a Jag.

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The engines will derive from Jaguar’s new Ingenium line, but at the moment the only engines available are the 3.0 liter V6 and a 2.0 liter, four-cylinder turbo diesel (The U.S. will only get the 3.0 liter at first). This isn’t an issue, however, as the 3.0 liter V6 makes a healthy 340 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque and sounds great delivering it all. The 2.0 liter isn’t bad either, but let’s face it, it’s the Supercharged V6 that you want. Both engines are mated to an 8-speed ZF gearbox which powers the rear wheels as standard, with all-wheel drive being an option.

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When it comes to looks, Jaguars always shine. This XE is no different. It isn’t that dissimilar from other Jaguar products, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing as all current Jags look fantastic. It’s a decently long car at 183.9 inches long, but the important thing is the wheelbase; 111.6 inches. This long wheelbase gives the Jag a nice, stable ride at high speed and allows for the wheels to be right at all, four corners of the body.

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The interior is also typical Jag which, again, is not a bad thing. It has the same ring around the dash as the XJ, which seems to wrap around the entire cabin. The interior is the classic Jaguar blend of sportiness and sophistication. It also ditches the F-Types shifter for the more common rotary style knob. Overall, with its supposedly great steering, excellent engine and fantastic looks, the Jaguar XE seems ready to challenge the 3 Series for its crown. Only time will tell whether the XE is up to the task or not. But either way, it should be fun finding out. The article Can the Jaguar XE make a dent in 3 Series sales? appeared first on BMW BLOG

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Action packed video flaunts M3 and M4 M Performance Parts

This clip features the BMW M4 in action, fully loaded with BMW M Performance parts, which meets up with a Fire Orange F80 M3, also decked out in M Performance Parts. The app shown in this clip is a concept, only. ...

This clip features the BMW M4 in action, fully loaded with BMW M Performance parts, which meets up with a Fire Orange F80 M3, also decked out in M Performance Parts. The app shown in this clip is a concept, only.

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See and Hear the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat at Top Speed

With 707 hp, the Charger Hellcat breaches the 200-mph mark. ...

With 707 hp, the Charger Hellcat breaches the 200-mph mark.

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Toyota Returns to Rallying with the Yaris WRC after 18-Year Hiatus

Yaris WRC set to make its racing debut in 2017. ...

Yaris WRC set to make its racing debut in 2017.

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Nighthawk Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe Coming for North America

Sleek, but hardly subtle. ...

Sleek, but hardly subtle.

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2015 BMW X6 M Pace Car – Photo Gallery

Leading the X6 M pack at the Circuit Of The Americas was another new BMW X6 M with a special livery: Pace car. The lead car was driven randomly by DTM drivers Marco Wittmann and Timo Glock, and BMW RLL driver Bill Auberlen. We’ve been on plenty lea...

Leading the X6 M pack at the Circuit Of The Americas was another new BMW X6 M with a special livery: Pace car. The lead car was driven randomly by DTM drivers Marco Wittmann and Timo Glock, and BMW RLL driver Bill Auberlen. We’ve been on plenty lead follows and they were OK. This experience in an X6 M was unlike anything I could have imagined. After the pro drivers did an average speed reconnaissance lap first, they took off while still talking us through the course on Walkie Talkies. Trying to stay in their racing line, was tough. The most riveting thing about following a DTM or BMW RLL driver around the course was just how early they gets on the gas in the all-wheel-drive X6 M. For example, Bill Auberlen also likes to use all of the track and we were hitting rumble strips and off into the green paint right before the Start/Finish main straight.

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Our full review of the 2015 BMW X6 M can be found here and below you can see a photo gallery of the X6 M Pace Car:

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The article 2015 BMW X6 M Pace Car – Photo Gallery appeared first on BMW BLOG

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Active Autowerke Releases The Active-8 Tuning Module

Alongside other car tuning companies, Active Autowerke is proud to introduce the Active-8 Tuning Module. The Active-8 is a weather-proof module that you can plug into your BMW’s factory ECU to improve performance output without any actual coding,...

Alongside other car tuning companies, Active Autowerke is proud to introduce the Active-8 Tuning Module. The Active-8 is a weather-proof module that you can plug into your BMW’s factory ECU to improve performance output without any actual coding, programming or other work done. It’s a plug and play solution, like some we have seen recently, where the power gains are impressive, allowing the 3.0 liter turbo inline-six engine, developing 425 horsepower in its stock form, to deliver even more performance. Karl Hugh, Active Autowerke’s Technical Director and head of engineering, says the results seen with the tuning module are impressive. “We didn’t know what to expect when we ran a customer’s F80 M3 on the dyno with our Active-8 Tuning Module, but the results were astounding!” said Hugh.

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With the Active-8 tuning module, the car puts down a 65 – 75 WHP gain, and an additional 60 to 68+ ft-lbs of torque on Active Autowerke’s Mustang MD250 dyno. Similar impressive results were seen on a separate customer’s F10 M5 which was tuned previously by Active Autowerke. The F10 M5 made 598 WHP, up from the stock figure of 540 horsepower. According to the tuner, the secret behind the product is its internal processor, where they use an advanced 64-bit processor which works in tandem with BMW’s newest DMEs.

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Active Autowerke’s goal was to ensure the module remains completely protected in all conditions—including inclement weather and racing conditions featuring extreme vibrations, heat, and cold. Great attention was paid to the Active-8 Tuning Module’s design and mounting points. The module can be installed in under an hour, and uninstalled just as easily. The Active-8 Tuning Box leaves absolutely no fingerprints behind should a dealer update the engine’s DME software, nor if the box is removed. This means that owners can safely assume their upgrade in the power department wont be an issue with warranties and such claims, but that is always a tricky question in some situations.

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The Active-8 is compatible with F3X 335i/435i, 70 X5M, E71 X6M, F10 550,F12 650, F10 535i, F12 640i, F01 740i, F25 X3 35i, E70 X5 35i, E71 X6 35i, F48X1, F30 328i, F32 428i, E82 135i N55, E9X 335i N55, F10 M5, F12 M6, F80 M3, and F82 M4, and more. Pricing for the Active-8 varies by model and starts as low as $699.00 MSRP.

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The article Active Autowerke Releases The Active-8 Tuning Module appeared first on BMW BLOG

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What new BMW would you buy

It’s always fun to daydream about the day you win the lottery, or create the next big mobile app, and money no longer becomes an object. That’s the American dream; to constantly be optimistic about the future and fight as hard as possible to make...

It’s always fun to daydream about the day you win the lottery, or create the next big mobile app, and money no longer becomes an object. That’s the American dream; to constantly be optimistic about the future and fight as hard as possible to make yours as fortunate as possible. So let’s dream about what kind of BMW we’d buy if/when that day comes and money is no object. Just go on to BMW’s “Build Your Own” car configurator and pick build your very own BMW. Then we’ll all share our cars and discuss. I’ll start: Firstly, I didn’t want to pick an M Car, as that was a bit too obvious. I wanted to pick something a bit different. And, money being no object, I wanted to go expensive, obviously. So, I decided to go for the Big Daddy, and get the 7 Series. Not just any 7 Series, however, the 760Li. The 760Li is the long-wheelbase version of the 7er, but with a big, hulking, 535 hp, twin-turbo V12 under the hood. It also comes only in rear-wheel drive, which is just icing on the torque cake.

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Here comes the fun part. These are all the boxes and features I checked to make this particular 760Li my own: Car:”2015 BMW 760Li, $141,200” Lines: “M Sport Edition, $4,000” – Only one Line option available, but regardless of how many options, I was going to go M Sport anyway. “19” V-Spoke wheels M Sport Package BMW Heads-Up Display Top and Side View Cameras 20-Way power seats Leather finished Instrument Panel Soft-Close Doors Concierge Service Exterior: “Black Sapphire Metallica, $0” – When choosing a 7 Series with a V12, Black just looks the business.

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Interior: “Ivory White and Black Nappa Leather with Burled Walnut Trim, $0” – There’s just something about White on Black that looks right, to me, in a car like this. The Burled Walnut also looks fantastic in contrast to the White and Black leather. Packages: “M Sport Package, $0 (included with M Sport Line)” – Automatically selected when choosing the M Sport Edition. Aerodynamic Kit M Sport Steering Wheel Gearshift Paddles Anthracite Alcantara Headliner Shadowline Exterior Trim Options: “Total, $7,900” Massaging Rear Seat, $200 Enhanced USB and Bluetooth, $500 Bang & Olufsen Sound System, $3,700 ACC Stop & Go with Active Driving Assistant, $1,200 Night vision with Pedestrian Detection, $2,300 Total: “$149,150”

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The fun part about making these cars, at least for me is, not just ticking every box you can to see how expensive it can get, but picking the options and colors I’d actually choose. Not because of money, just because that’s what I would want to drive. So that’s my 760Li. Go to BMW’s Configurator and see what you can come up with. There are no rules, just come up with the exact BMW you’d love to drive every single day, money being no object. Have fun and share what you came up with! The article What new BMW would you buy appeared first on BMW BLOG

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BMW Group ConnectedDrive increases data security

The BMW Group is increasing the security of data transmission in its vehicles. This is the company’s response to reports from the German Automobile Association (ADAC). The motorist’s association had identified a potential security gap when data i...

The BMW Group is increasing the security of data transmission in its vehicles. This is the company’s response to reports from the German Automobile Association (ADAC). The motorist’s association had identified a potential security gap when data is transmitted. The BMW Group has already closed this gap with a new configuration. The experts from the ADAC had put the company through a strategic review as market leader in vehicle networking. This check revealed a potential security gap affecting the transmission path via the mobile phone network. BMW Group hardware was not impacted. The online capability of BMW Group ConnectedDrive allowed the gap to be closed quickly and safely in all vehicles. Access to functions relevant to driving was excluded at all times. There was no need for vehicles to go to the workshop.

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The update is carried out automatically as soon as the vehicle connects up to the BMW Group server or the driver calls up the service configuration manually. The online services of BMW Group ConnectedDrive communicate with this configuration via the HTTPS protocol (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) which had previously been used for the service BMW Internet and other functions. The BMW Group ConnectedDrive packages in the vehicle are thereby using encryption which in most cases is also being used by banks for online banking. On the one hand, data are encrypted with the HTTPS protocol, and on the other hand, the identity of the BMW Group server is checked by the vehicle before data are transmitted over the mobile phone network. In this way, the BMW Group has responded promptly and increased the security of BMW Group ConnectedDrive, because no cases have come to light yet in which data has been called up actively by unauthorised persons from outside or an attempt of this kind is made in the first place. The article BMW Group ConnectedDrive increases data security appeared first on BMW BLOG

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